More Than Half of Americans Think Social Security Is Doomed

Poll released for the 80th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act into law

More than half of all Americans who are still working doubt they will ever receive Social Security benefits, according to a new poll.

Gallup—which released the poll numbers for the 80th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act into law on Aug. 14, 1935—also found that two-thirds of Americans believe the Social Security system is in serious trouble.

Over the past 80 years, Social Security has become a major piece of the U.S. economic landscape and an important part of retirement plans. But changes in the nation’s demographics have led to projections that the system will be unable to pay retirees their full benefits starting in 2034.

Gallup found that 66% of Americans surveyed in July and August believe Social Security is in a state of crisis, which is in line with historical poll numbers: At least two-thirds of Americans have believed that retirement benefits were in jeopardy since 1998.

Of the two primary approaches to fixing the Social Security system, 51% of Americans of all ages would prefer raising taxes, while 37% would rather cut benefits.